MAX and his wife Emily got married in a courthouse wedding four years ago

By Brianne Tracy
July 08, 2020 12:00 PM
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Deanie Chen

MAX will soon be a "girl dad" — and he couldn't be happier.

The "Love Me Less" singer and his wife, Emily, both 28, are expecting their first child, a baby girl, due in December, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

"I'm so excited," MAX tells PEOPLE. "I think about it every day. I look at all of the other musician girl dads that I love, like Chance the Rapper and my friend, Andy Grammer ... Lenny Kravitz! I'm like, 'Lenny Kravitz created Zoë Kravitz. That's so cool.' They are the best father/daughter situation. I've been excited to be a girl dad my whole life, I feel. I'm excited to support her and empower her."

"I'm definitely freaking out about potential boyfriends," he adds. "I didn't think I'd feel that way. But I just can't wait to give her so much love and be there for her. I'm just the most ecstatic to be a girl dad."

The couple found out the sex of their baby on the way on MAX's 28th birthday on June 21, also Father's Day.

"It was wild because, for about a month, something happened with the labs," MAX says. "So Emily's blood tests couldn't confirm the gender. She had to get her blood taken again, and it was just this ongoing process. We finally got [the results] three days before my birthday, and I said, 'Well, we got to save it until that.' "

"We had this envelope on my parents' bulletin board for three days," he continues. "It was the hardest thing not to look inside. We opened it on Father's Day, and we thought it was going to be this long thing that said all of the chromosomes and everything. But it was just a note from our doctor being like, 'Congrats, guys. You're having a baby girl.' "

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MAX and Emily
Deanie Chen

All along, MAX (né Max Schneider) says he and Emily — who runs her meditation and tarot card reading website, The Empoweress — predicted it was a girl.

"I felt really guilty because I think the whole time we knew it was a girl," he says. "We could only think of girl names. Right before we did the gender reveal, we felt guilty. We were like, 'We've got to be open to it being a boy.' For some reason, I don't know why, it felt like a chore to figure out boy stuff, but the girl stuff was coming so naturally. In Emily's gut she knew. In my gut, I knew too."

Emily says "it didn't help" though that everyone around them was "split down the middle" on whether they thought they were having a girl or boy.

"About 50 percent of our friends that we told thought it was a boy," she says. "Then the rest of them said it was a girl. We were extra torn. But we would have been happy either way. And whoever they decide to be later on in life, we will celebrate them til the day they die."

Adds MAX: "As long as they're happy, we're stoked."

MAX and Emily
Deanie Chen

MAX and Emily first found out they were pregnant about a month into quarantine, after "trying for a long time."

"The day that I took the test, I woke up really, really early because I had read that it's best to take the test in the morning," Emily says. "And MAX usually sleeps in late. It immediately came back that I was pregnant. I snuck back into bed, and I whispered, 'Good morning, Daddy Schneider.' He woke up with the biggest smile on his face, but he's always on vocal rest in the morning so he didn't say anything. He was just making all these excited faces. It was quite a unique experience!"

For the couple, the happy news couldn't have come at a better time since MAX has been off tour amid the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.

"We've been open to baby life for a while now," MAX says. "We've been trying, and this little soul came into the world right when quarantine started. So she knew that this was the time when Dad wouldn't be touring, and I could just sing to her every night. We have this little, cute heartbeat monitor, and we check out her heartbeat every night. She knew this was the right time."

The downside of the pandemic has been the impact on Emily's doctor's appointments, which MAX hasn't been able to join her for.

"He has to FaceTime in every time I get a sonogram, and every time we hear the heartbeat at the doctor," Emily says. "We've made the most of it."

Emily says the day she found out she was pregnant she was "on cloud nine." But then the morning sickness kicked in.

"The day after [we found out], I got smacked in the face with the worst morning sickness," she says. "I was throwing up all day long. Couldn't keep food down. Couldn't keep water down. I actually didn't have a doctor in California at the time so I was just trying to figure out who to trust to help me through the sickness because I wanted to avoid going to the hospital with coronavirus happening. I got prescribed a medication that came out about 10 years ago that's really safe for babies and just for pregnant women. It literally saved my life."

"Since I started taking that, I've been enjoying it," she continues. "Especially because MAX can be home, and I can have him bring me food and keep me company. I just went into the second trimester a couple of weeks ago, and I felt much more energetic. I'm just really enjoying it now."

Though they've yet to decide on a name for the baby, MAX and Emily say they're "narrowing down" their list.

"We keep going back and forth between three or four names, and then a new one will pop up," MAX says. "And then we're kind of obsessed with that. But I think we're both feeling like when she comes into the world, we'll look at her and her name will be very obvious."

As to what they'll be like as parents, MAX says his wife, who is British, is "the real life Mary Poppins."

"I nannied for a few years, and I have brothers who are eight years younger than me," Emily says. "So I've had a lot of experience with children and babies. I think that I'm going to be calm and prepared. But when it actually happens, I know that everything is going to be changed. My mum will be here. MAX's parents will be here. So we'll have a lot of support."

MAX predicts she's going to be a "daddy's girl."

"I'm going to spoil her," he says. "I know that she'll go to her mom, and she'll be like, 'Nah, you can't have that.' Then she's going to come to me. And I'm going to be like, 'You know what? Yeah. You can have a Sour Patch Kid. Of course.' I'm going to be wrapped around her finger. I already know it. I'm going to have to really train myself to say no sometimes."

Since MAX is an only child and Emily has 10 half-siblings, they're undecided if they want to have a big family in the future.

"We have such different upbringings that I think we're going to start with this baby girl, see how we feel and then maybe we'll be open to more," MAX says. "I'm so focused-in being an only child. So either she's going to be a very focused-in only child, or we'll make 10 of these babies."

Emily adds that it all depends on how MAX's career goes once life resumes post-pandemic.

"If we're back from the road all the time, it probably would be easiest to just have one," she says. "It may just depend on how life turns out after this bizarre year we're all having."

Keeping their pregnancy a secret from fans wasn't too hard for MAX and Emily, who were able to keep their courthouse wedding four years ago a secret for seven months. They first met in July 2015 while MAX was on tour with Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa; they got married in April 2016.

"Our entire dating relationship had been me living in Chicago, and then flying out to live with him on a tour bus with a bunch of dudes," Emily says. "Our first real at-home situation was over Christmas, and we were at my mom's house. I was just looking at him, like, 'Wow. I really wish we could get married.' I've always been an in-the-moment kind of person. I don't really plan ahead, and MAX is such a planner."

After that moment, MAX started to plan a proper proposal.

"I'll never forget when she said, 'I just want to marry you,' " MAX says. "I was like, 'Wow. This is real life. You actually want to get married to me. And I want to get married to you, and I'm going to do that.' "

Emily says MAX proposed to her on the cliff in Chicago where they had their first date. They got married at the courthouse about three weeks later and also had a "tiny family wedding" at MAX's parents' house.

"It's funny because at the time we were like, 'We're going to have this big white dress wedding in five years,'" she says. "Then at the end of our tiny little 50-person wedding, we looked at each other and we're like, 'Let's never do this again.' We literally grabbed suitcases, and left our own wedding."

After leaving their wedding, Emily and MAX went straight back to their hotel room for some alone time.

"We just went and had lamb burgers and took a bath together," MAX says. "It was cute."

In addition to preparing for the baby, MAX fans will be happy to know that he's been hard at work in quarantine on his music, including his new album, Colour Vision, set for release on Sept 18.

"I've been writing a lot of songs for baby, of course," he says. "It's been nice to have that muse, and that inspiration, during this time when I know there's a lot of darkness."

"I can't believe I'm dropping two things this year, my album and this baby," he adds. "It's amazing because it's both of the things I'm the most excited for — baby, obviously the most, but I've been waiting to drop this album for so long. It's definitely my favorite stuff. I hope that people are as into it as I was creating it. We appreciate everybody for caring and always being on our journey together. It's why we love sharing it. So I'm glad that they could finally get to know this news just like when we revealed our wedding. So boom!"